Thursday, November 02, 2006

Arriving Dubai... Well Sharjah more like it!

Filled with contradicted mixed feelings of fear, excitement, anxiety, happiness and sadness I left to Baghdad Airport with my mother to fly to Dubai. We stayed at the Airport for 7 hours hearing all kinds of rumors about whether the flight was canceled or not and finally it was confirmed that flight was canceled due to the bad weather in Dubai which had the plane never leave Dubai Airport.

That was pretty much normal in Iraq. I hated going back that dangerous road of the Airport. A highway filled with military vehicles of the American army, armored cars of the foreign companies who can shoot you at any minute if you by mistake approach them not to mention the sideroad bombs planted here and there along side that highway and to top that up the bombed cars that goes boom right at the gate of Baghdad Airport which is the last unsecured point. Follows that gate a highly secured area, two check points including trained dogs to sniff the cars, another check point when we should step out of the car with our suit cases to have them searched in addition to a body search. After that another two check points with another bunch of sniffing dogs until we get inside the airport building. All that to protect American and expatriates who work in Iraq. (the dog’s salary per month is not less than $1500 US. Ironic isn’t?) We had to repeat all that the next day.
Finally we got on plane and the plane took off to Dubai.. The plane safely landed in Dubai Airport. I was dead calm as if all my feelings were suddenly paralyzed. That’s Dubai then!! After whole year of research, reading, preparing, and inquiring I was there! On Dubai’s land!
Everything was neat, everyone was busy doing their business, and somehow I had the impression of being in some kind of city ruled by robots! The shock was the weather, never thought it could be that bad. Once I stepped out of the plane I felt I’m suffocating. The temperature was almost like Baghdad’s but at least our weather is dry while the humidity in Dubai was unbearable. An Iraqi fellow on the plane offered me his mobile to call the visa guy to pick us up and take us to a hotel as agreed. I phoned the guy and told him what I was wearing to recognize us. The entrance procedures went all fine and I had a positive impression about the UAE people. Unfortunately the hotel that we were supposed to book in was totally booked and the visa guy had to take us to where he lives, Sharjah!!
I did not like the idea for I know Shajah is not the place to look for a job and also I did not want to get into an expensive hotel and waste what left of my savings before getting a job. I was very nervous when we started going from hotel to another asking about the rates. After a couple I decided what the heck, let us stay for two nights until I find a place. It was a four star hotel and it cost about $80 per night. Well... not that bad! I remember I could still feel the humidity even inside the hotel room despite the AC. I was restless. So many things in my mind. The priority was looking for a place to stay in in Dubai and looking for a job. After taking a shower and some rest we went out to exchange some money and have dinner out. The problem is that I could not tell the net café from the restaurant. For some reason all shops looked the same for me. I never had this problem in Egypt, Jordan or Syria. I asked the people walking by and they lead me to a place called Gold Market.

The place was awesome from the outside. From the inside it was a very normal eastern mall. I exchanged some money to pay the hotel and to buy our needs

The only restaurant we could find was an Iraqi one with really freaky guys staring from inside the place. We decided to have sandwiches from Spinnys.
I could not purchase a phone card that night and was told I could find it in City Center mall not anywhere else.

Gave my sister and father in Iraq a phone call from the hotel and slept to get ready to the busy day.

Here is a couple of not so great quality photos of two beautiful scenes from where I stayed in Sharjah:

To be continued...........


At 8:54 AM, Blogger Gautam said...

Hmm...sounds like quiet a journey so far...!!

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

Oh yah. It was!

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Seabee said...

Welcome to Dubai and to our blog. I hope your story gets much happier very quickly.

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

seabee, thanks! I wished that so badly too..
Now I just want to get this burden off my chest and let my story read by people.

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

By the way,I am in Iraq now.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger MixMax said...

Interesting blog! why did you get back to Iraq? I hope nothing urgent forced you to do so

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

I will continue my story in up coming posts but just a small hint MixMax, read my profile.
You'll know why I came back Iraq.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger MixMax said...

I am sorry, maybe curiousity of knowing your story made me skip that part in your profile. I apologise.

I heard that they are putting more and more obstacles than ever before to slow down immigrants to the UAE. However, my opinion is just the fact it circled around Iraqis more than any other nationality. I might be wrong!

Please keep on writing

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

Hi MixMax, there is absolutely no need to apologize but I just didn't want to rush things.
You are definitely right concerning the obstacles against Iraqi immigrants. If you are Iraqi with non Iraqi passport no matter what it is then you're welcome there. If you are Iraqi with your Iraqi passport then it depends on your luck and your contacts. Iraqi men are luckier than Iraqi women. The irony is the reasons behind rejecting Iraqi women. Such a shame!

At 8:21 PM, Blogger MixMax said...

yes, Rejected, I heard this from people I know. Unfortunately, this is our destiny, a destiny that smashed many dreams of ours. However, should you give up?

I am looking forward to read your story, please keep on writing.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

I don't think I have other choice than trying to live.
Never ever thought that we , Iraqis, would be homeless whether living outside Iraq or in Iraq itself. Before it was Saddam's now I wish I know whose is it?

At 1:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bela Za7ma aren't you gonna tell us the rest. When I said gripping I meant reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally gripping. I want to know more.

At 11:50 PM, Blogger MixMax said...

well, we don't what keeps you from writing, but I hope that everything is ok

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

Hi Chikitita and MixMax, I am fine but again I'm on the road to find a way to get out of my country and get a life.
I will definitely finish my story when I get back to Baghdad.

At 2:05 PM, Blogger MixMax said...

excellent! I thought that you are not going to give up whatever the obstacles you might face.

Good luck and wish you success

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Rejected said...

Thanks MixMax, I won't give up but now i'm facing a hurdle where I have to decide something that will be a turning point in my life.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger MixMax said...

wish you the best, keep us informed


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